Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor celebrates with teammate Jose Ramirez after he hit a lead off home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto on Thursday September 6, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill)

Indians drop chief logo for Canada stop in aftermath of controversy

Team didn’t comment, but indicated it’s ‘acknowledging increased sensitivity’ to image in Canada

The Cleveland Indians are giving fans a preview of their new-look uniforms this week in Toronto by dropping the Chief Wahoo image from their hats and uniforms.

A team spokesman declined comment on why the team made a change for its final series at Rogers Centre this season, only saying that an MLB.com website story on the development was factual.

“Acknowledging increased sensitivity to the Chief Wahoo image in Canada, the Indians … opted not to feature it during this series,” the story said.

The caricature of a First Nations man was the subject of controversy during the 2016 MLB playoffs in Toronto. Indigenous activist Douglas Cardinal filed a human rights complaint federally and provincially against the Indians, MLB and Rogers Communications — the owner of the Blue Jays — trying to stop Cleveland from using the logo during the 2016 American League Championship Series.

“We were very pleased to see that the team decided not to use the logo at the game in Toronto,” Lenczner Slaght lawyer Monique Jilesen, who has represented Cardinal, said in an email to The Canadian Press.

Jilesen said the parties have resolved the human rights proceedings and the court application.

READ MORE: South Asian hockey players in Lower Mainland face racism, other barriers, study says

The logo is something that has long bothered Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro, who spent more than two decades as an Indians executive.

“I never said it when I was in Cleveland, but I struggled with Chief Wahoo from the day I got there in 1992 to the day I left,” Shapiro said Friday. “I was happy to see it consistently get diminished.

“I will shed no tears when it’s gone completely.”

The Indians announced plans last January to remove the logo from their uniforms completely beginning in 2019.

Chief Wahoo will return to the Indians’ uniforms on Monday at Tampa Bay and will remain for the rest of the season before being retired from on-field use.

Shapiro, who joined the Blue Jays in 2015 after 24 seasons with the Indians, played a lead role in establishing a block “C” as Cleveland’s logo. It replaced the cartoonish image of a big-toothed First Nations man with a scarlet face and single feather in his headdress.

Shapiro touched on the logo issue during an afternoon media availability.

“It doesn’t mean that much because I’m focused on the Blue Jays,” he said. “I guess there’s like a small part of me that kind of says, ‘Good. It’s about time.’”

MLB said the decision to scrap the logo came from the league’s commitment to “building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game.”

Longtime Blue Jays radio announcer Jerry Howarth, who retired in the off-season, made a point of not saying Cleveland’s nickname after a First Nations fan wrote to him explaining how hurtful the name and logo were to Indigenous people.

The Indians-Blue Jays series continues through Sunday.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Make-A-Wish BC grants Langley girl’s wish

Mae Ten Haaf battled a brain tumour much of her young life, and recently returned from Disney World.

Mark Warawa won’t run in the next election

Langley MP issues a statement about his impending retirement from politics.

LETTER: Langley resident says a cancer plague is building

A Langley City man believes a poor diet and unhealed emotions are part of his cancer journey.

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram named WHL On the Run Player of the Week

Registered three goals and three assists in a pair of victories for Langley-based team

‘Diamond’ for Aldergrove rock fans

Fraser Valley Rock and Gem Club marks 60 years in Aldergrove

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of Brunette overpass

Dash cam footage shows a vehicle speeding across a Lower Mainland overpass

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Letters on way to all homeowners in B.C. speculation tax communities

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

New orca calf in Salish Sea ‘healthy and active’

Birth cause for celebration but things still dire genetically, expert says

Good Samaritan rescues cat found in heaps of garbage at B.C. landfill

The cat was abandoned and left to die at the Foothills Boulevard Regional Landfill, the BC SPCA says

Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna home to Canada’s most expensive rentals: report

According to PadMapper, units in larger B.C. cities cost $1,300 to more than $3,000

Most Read